May 23, 2008
MGH nursing excellence recognized at Nursing Spectrum gala

MGH Nursing celebrated a big night May 13 at the annual Nursing Spectrum Nursing Excellence Gala in Burlington, Mass. Donna Perry, RN, PhD, professional development coordinator for the Institute for Patient Care at MGH, was named the New England regional winner of the Excellence Award in the Community Service category. Katie Brush, RN, MS, CCRN, FCCM, who had served as clinical nurse specialist in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), was honored posthumously for her pioneering contributions to patient safety and the nursing profession. Six other MGH nurses were honored as New England finalists in their respective categories.

nursing excellence

REGIONAL REWARD: Perry, right, with Melyni Serpa, general manager of Gannett Healthcare Group

In addition to her role at the Institute for Patient Care, Perry also is an associate nurse scientist in the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research; professional development coordinator for MGH's International Nurse Consultant Program; and co-director of the Thomas S. Durant Fellowship for Refugee Medicine. Among her many professional accomplishments, Perry has orchestrated educational exchange programs for more than 400 nurses from 30 different countries and has contributed to the development of the nursing service for a new specialized pediatric hospital being built in Iraq — the first new hospital built in the country in more than 25 years.

Susan Tully, RN, BSN, MGH SICU nursing director, accepted a plaque honoring the memory and lasting impact of Brush — her friend and former colleague. Tully referenced Brush's many contributions to the profession of nursing, including her mentorship, clinical expertise, intellect, vision and humor.

Six MGH nurses honored as regional award finalists were Sharon Brackett, RN, BS, of the SICU; Sheila Burke, RN, MSN, of the Norman Knight Nursing Center for Clinical and Professional Development; Edward Coakley, RN, MEd, MA, MSN, of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery; Sheila Davis, MSN, RNCS, ANP, of MGHÕs Division of Infectious Diseases; Chris Graf, RN, PhD, of the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research; and Keith Perleberg, RN, MDiv, of the Patient Care Services Office of Quality and Safety.

Each year, Nursing Spectrum recognizes the significant contributions made by nurses across the country. Nurses are nominated in six categories — Advancing and Leading the Profession, Clinical Care, Community Service, Management, Mentoring and Teaching. Five finalists are selected in each category and eventually one overall winner becomes eligible for National Nurse of the Year honors.

"These nurses are wonderful representatives of the true spirit and excellence of thousands of MGH nurses," says Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, MS, FAAN, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse. "I congratulate them for their remarkable dedication, teamwork and compassion to patients and patient families, the nursing profession and the MGH."

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